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Disclaimer: The opinions on this website are mine and do not reflect
the views of Jiangnan University, Lambton College, or anybody else.
Gophers in the park in Winnipeg, Canada, at the start of our summer holiday.
at Jiangnan Daxue
in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China
Check out: NEW Pictures by Ruth Anderson uploaded September 18, 2012
David Scott teaching schedule for Fall of 2012
Chinese Word of the Day: 忙得
September 23, 2012 Apparently I'm not Updating Often Anymore
I've made updating this website too complicated, and I simply haven't had the time to do updates this month. My sister Catherine is visiting from Canada. She's been here three weeks, and she flies home this coming Saturday. Between rushing off to various sites of interest with her, preparing classes, and teaching there's been no time for website maintenance.
Student Polls - what they think about things.
It's very easy to think that these students, who dress so very much like their counterparts in Canada, are the same as our students back home. Every once in a while I get their opinion on something, and I'm often surprised.
As part of teaching about generating a thesis for an essay, I told my students about Li Yinhe, a sociologis, sexologist and actrivist for LGBT rights in China. Li Yinhe pointed out that nobody had been charged for twenty years
under the law forbidding orgies. There is no such law in any
modern first world nation, and having such a law on the books makes
China look authoritarian and repressive. She was immediately
vilified in the press, with many writers calling her a slut who was
trying to destroy Chinese culture.
To a westerner this looks like utter hypocricy. How does a private party held for consenting adults infringe the public order? Who was hurt? Who is the victim of this "crime"? And naturally I expected my students to agree with this. I would have been shocked if I hadn't asked this question in previous classes.
The thinking of these students is totally beyond me. But the fact is obvious. If China is a repressive country, it's because the Chinese like it this way. They do not see the value in individual freedom, and feel perfectly justified in telling others what kind of private behavior is acceptable, and enforcing their view with severe punishment. It's their country. And foreigners coming here expressing liberal attitudes might not be contradicted, but they won't gain respect and they probably won't convince anybody to adopt a western view of individual rights.
did have one class of liberal dissenters, so I must be careful not to
paint all these students with the same brush. It was a close
vote, but this class would not have jailed the professor.
Here are a couple of other informal opinion polls from my students. Not as shocking as the attitude to the hapless Nanjing associate professor, but somewhat surprisng none the less.
September 4, 2012 Back in Wuxi, China
We landed on Saturday, were called to an orientation early on Sunday morning, and hit the floor teaching on Monday. Whew. It's been a jet lagged scramble but here we are and I'm finally updating this site after not even looking at it for the entire summer. If I had any regula readers, they are probably gone by now.
flew to Vancouver, then on to Winnipeg. Highlights of the summer
included a family reunion in Alberta, a train ride from Saskatoon back
to Winnipeg, a drive down to Minneapolis for ConVergence, a big science
fiction convention. After our Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta,
and Minnisota adventures we flew out to B.C. to visit my family and
friends. We had six nights on my son Casey's boat in Ganges
Harbour, Saltspring Island. A few days in Gibsons Landing.
And then, before we knew it, it was time to get on the plane and return
Word of the Day: 耳语
June 20, 2012 A Month Since my Last Post. Been busy.
been really busy with the end of the term, and with working up our song
list in case Via Rail decides we can ride for free if we will entertain
the other passengers. Great motivation. So this should be a
massive update. I'll start with today.
it is now June 23, and we fly home tomorrow morning. It's taken
me this long to get this update done. Have a great summer.
Cleaning Before Heading Home
was time for our anual teeth cleaning. Actually, I've been having
gum problems so I've been getting my teeth cleaned every couple of
At first I was reluctant to have dental work done in China. Not any more. Their equipment is cutting edge and their technicians are excellent. Best of all, their price is a fraction of what dental work would cost me in Canada. For example, cleaning our teeth cost about twenty five dollars Canadian, and this xray of my teeth, taken with a machine the likes of which I've never seen before, cost about twenty bucks. I don't think I could get this in Canada for under a couple of hundred.
Now it turns
out my old caps should be replaced. I'll find out what it costs
to do this back in Canada, but I suspect it would pay for the air
ticket to have it done in Wuxi. The price here for the high
quality all ceramic molar caps is $564 Canadian. There are
cheapers ones available for $240, but this seems like a bad place to
economize, so I'll go delux with these. I'll have the two in the
upper left of this xray done in September, and hopefully this will calm
down my gums.
Dinner with Students
I had some misapprehesions about the Lambton students. I'd been told that they were mostly spoiled brats, underachievers, xiao huang di (Little emperors). But that's not how I experienced them. Certainly many of them have more discretionary money than my Jiangnan University students, and that gives them a confidence that other students might lack. But mostly I found them to be the usual sweet Chinese young people. Like young people everywhere, they tend to only work as hard as they think they need to work. Who can blame them for that?
Teresa and her
boyfriend, Kevin, or off for a couple of weeks in Switzerland this
At the end of this term, one of my classes invited Ruth and me out for a dinner. It was the usual Chinese feast. Elegantly presented and very tasty food. And the dinner turned into a mixture of Chinese lesson for us and English lesson for the students. Win win all around.
To make it even better, Teresa volunteered to exchange our money for us. This saved us a great hassle and we are grateful. Thanks Teresa.
I have no complaints about the work ethic of these students. Great kids.
up the Term, and Another Year in China
Nanjing with Panda
Panda is now living in Nanjing, about a fortry minute train ride from Wuxi. We met her there for gift shopping.
Then we dragged Panda back to Wuxi for a visit with GouGou, and us of course.
Bike Helmets Showing Up in China
We were years in China before we saw a single person wearing a bike helmet. Now they are starting to appear, just as I predicted they would.
We saw four bike helmets on a recent ride to Auchang, the local supermarket. It's happening. I've been telling students that in twenty years they will see helmets everywhere, and I want them to remember the crazy foreigner who told them it would happen. I'll never know, of course, but I'm hoping some students get a smile out of this someday.
I love dragonflies. They eat mosquito larva when they themselves are under the water int he larval stage. Then when the mosquitoes pupate, the dragonflies follow them through their life cycle and eat the mature mosquitoes. How cool is that?
The dragon flies we are seeing around campus right now don't look like our big blue jobbies. They are slightly smaller, with a bright yellow band on their abdomen. I found this dead one on the road. The yellow band has faded a bit, with dehydration. Alive they are much more vivid than this.
on this Post
through December, 2011
and August, 2011
June 08, 2011
May 19, 2011
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